HI, CAROLYN: A year ago (and a year after my wedding) I found out that during the wedding planning, my spouse had an affair. Since we had been married a year and I loved him, I wanted to stay and work on the relationship.
Recently I found out that he had been talking to some other woman, and told her he was divorced and living with his ex-wife in separate bedrooms. At that point I packed my car and drove home from Colorado to Virginia, where I’m from.
Am I giving up too easily? I’m not sure I can look past the hurtful things he’s done, but I don’t want to leave without trying everything.
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Maybe you have your own reasons for “trying everything,” be it your conscience or your respect for the institution of marriage or your desire for a vaccine against future regrets. No one should talk you out of those.
However, anyone who has been betrayed and insulted as you have also has earned the right to skip “trying everything” on a marriage that, pardon the grim analogy, is plainly DOA.
DEAR CAROLYN: I am a civil servant. My sister, who has had government assistance at times in her adult life, has gotten some attention Twitter-wise for being a funny, right-wing anarchist.
So the government shuts down. I am working on an IOU and she is posting “funny” things on Facebook, like, “National Parks Closed. Because the government has to help you take a walk in the woods.”
Here I could not restrain myself, knowing that if the government of Teddy-(stinkin)-Roosevelt hadn’t taken action, the Grand Canyon would today be surrounded by condos, and so responded with that fact. I didn’t cuss or directly insult anyone’s intelligence.
I love my sister dearly but I don’t think our online personas mesh very well. Any advice on how I should be discussing this stuff with her so that we don’t get to a point we can’t speak to each other?
DEAR L.: Obviously families have had to navigate political differences for as long as there have been families and politics, and so yours isn’t a novel choice. However, if you do opt for love and limits, then I strongly advise you to stop following her on any social media, and invest more time with her in-person.
Your online personas clash not just because your views do, but because your espousal of them online is stripped of all the filters people use in person when they’re making an effort to get along. So, interact with her only in filter-friendly environments.